Whitefish, Mont. – In response to the Trump administration’s recent attacks on public lands and as the House considers multiple pieces of legislation that could put more public lands at risk, Western Values Project (WVP) announced a wave of ads calling on Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-2) to reject any efforts to gut protections for public lands. The ads also target Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3) and Greg Walden (OR-2). The ads will run in each members’ districts over the next week, totaling more than a million dollars.
In addition to the ads, WVP is also releasing polling that found that constituents in the Arizona 2nd are strongly opposed to proposed legislation in Congress to weaken federal protections on these lands, and Rep. McSally could face major backlash if she supports legislation that weakens protections for public lands.
Highlights from the polls include:
o AZ 02 – 93% important (72% very important)
o AZ 02 – 26% support/66% oppose (58% strongly oppose)
“Public lands are a cornerstone of the way of life in communities across the West. Whether you live in Arizona, Washington, or Oregon, the administration’s plan to gut protections for public lands is wildly unpopular,” said Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project. “We’re putting Rep. Martha McSally on notice: if she goes against public lands and sides with the administration by carving up the West in favor of special interests, she’ll have to answer to her constituents.”
Saeger continued, “This isn’t about politics or political parties. It’s about supporters of our public lands, from hunters and anglers to conservationists standing shoulder to shoulder with our leaders in Congress and protecting our public lands for future generations.”
The ads follow the Trump administration’s unprecedented move to gut protections for iconic public lands – an action that is being contested in the courts. Meanwhile, some members of Congress have proposed legislation that would further harm our public lands.
In Arizona, this legislation puts every national monument in danger, including Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Ironwood Forest National Monument, and Sonoran Desert National Monument.
Additional background on Western Values Project:
Western Values Project is committed to making sure elected leaders put Western values first through research, public education, and by working together with small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and sportsmen and sportswomen. Earlier this year, WVP released ads holding Zinke accountable for his proposal to reduce the size of national monuments. As a result of the effort Secretary Zinke experienced a significant drop in the polls – falling seven points in his home state of Montana shortly after his recommendation to shrink national monuments was leaked.